Awakening

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The heavy spring snow covers everything today. Power lines sag. Tree branches struggle for dignity. Even the ground itself seems to be burdened by the heavy load. And I too feel the weight of it. It is the breaking point of winter. If a person didn’t know the seasons—the hope of spring in their hearts–it might be too much to bear. It might break more than branches. Especially after months and months of winter. Cold grey colors. Land meeting sky without contrast day after day. And now everything is covered again. I myself am buried. But not because I’ve given up. I certainly could have chosen to, and there were times I closed my eyes in defeat, but instead I have decided I am merely hiding. I am like a seed planted. I think of all of them out there now in the forest under the snow. Seemingly dead and buried. But not really. They are simply waiting. Content to die for a season. Trusting the earth to nourish. To keep. To protect. I imagine they smile at the sound of the heavy muffled snow. Realizing the further burial will actually be further nourishment as melted snow waters deep within. Even now while snow is still falling, thaw has begun. Dirt is warming. Roots of trees ready themselves to dig another year deeper. The snow today is a heavy blanket that lets us sleep in a little bit longer. This season of burial has been long, but it has been good. Two pines stand towering over the house on the north side. All winter they have stood like giants at the gate guarding against the north wind. And now as spring comes, I see a gentler side of them as one of them holds a delicate nest.

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Winter builds trust. The storms faced are bearable simply because we know it won’t last. We know. We trust. We will see the sun again. The snow will melt. Good things will come up out of the ground. And our trust leads to peace with the present circumstances. As much as we want to hide like a seed in the ground, in real life the winter finds us. But if we choose to focus on trust we will find peace. We can stand amid the north wind much like my large pine trees and wait. And when spring finally comes, we realize we have developed a new appreciation for ourselves and others. Almost as a new skillset. We even find ourselves thankful for the storms. They have taught us things unlike anything else could have and we reluctantly admit that even if they were meant to harm us, they were for our good. And when we lean into them and glean every bit of lesson from them, they no longer have dominion over us. They become a sparring partner. We learn. We are thankful. Thankful for the lesson, thankful to have survived, and eventually thankful for the storm. It has shaped us. It has not broken us. It has strengthened us. Winter and spring stand side by side in stark contrast on the wheel of seasons, but they join together in teaching us lessons of hope and endurance; trust and peace.

Someone once told me a magnificent quote: “It will all be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Keep looking for the promise of spring. It will come. Today we got another snowstorm, but I also noticed the first shoots coming up in the pots by the window. Keep looking, even if you have to push the snow out of the way one more day.

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